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Found 20 results

  1. Welp, it's been long enough since PCB was completed and I think some major bumps are out of my life, time for a new project! My gaming obsession for the last eight or so years has been Dota and one night last year I kicked the idea of this build around with a friend. It's blossomed in my mind since, time to put it into motion. First off, thank you to my generous sponsors for this project: This will be a scratch build I think? I'm making an external frame out of mahogany and using a Fractal Design Node 304 essentially as a motherboard tray. It will save me some time in terms of layout and I happen to have one on hand. The concept will come from Dota 2 of course. While I could focus on a specific character in the game for a theme, I decided instead to base the mod off of a treasure chest. Players in-game win cosmetic items for their characters by obtaining various chests after they play games. What sort of grotesque name is Fresh Meat for a build? It's the catch phrase of one Dota's most loved/hated characters, Pudge, and from a modding perspective there are two reasons: one, it's a new project, fresh meat for me to bite in to, two, there will be cutting. I though this would be a fun theme to play with and would give me lots of design choices as well as making a mod that almost all Dota players could relate to. Without further ado, let's get into it. A log note: The flow of this here log may jump around a bit. I'm a paper and pencil guy when it comes to layout so I don't have any fancy 3D renders to show you. Keeps up the suspense right? You'll just have to trust what I've got cooking in my head to come together in the end. First up was picking material. My dad has some footage of mahogany available, lucky me :D After I had some lumber picked out, it was time to actually do stuff. First up was making a jig for the chest legs. The legs will taper on two sides, from 40mm square on the bottom 25mm at the top. After that tank was put together, you've got to test it, right? Of course, you can't test on the real deal. Here's what the legs will be cut out of once the jig is dialed in. Can't you see a couple legs in there? A look at the test leg to get an idea of what the shape will be. It's a subtle angle. Well unfortunately that's it for the first post. I'll keep collecting junk to stick in this thing, you keep checking back
  2. CASE: Fractal Design Define R5 (ver. white) MOTHERBOARD: ASRock 970A-G/3.1 GRAPHICS CARD: MSI GTX660 OC PSU: SilentiumPc Vero M1 600W CPU: AMD FX8320 3.5GHz + SilentiumPc Fera 3 HARD DRIVE: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1000 GB MEMORY: 2x HyperX Fury CL10 DDR3 1600 MHz 4GB Sponsored by: Colour Concept Pc: White/Black/Red PSU braids (sleeving) buy in the: Changing a concept (from white to white/black/red): I'm sorry for my english. Feel free to comment and ask questions. To be continued...
  3. Captain CurrySauce & Mosquito take an in depth look at Fractal Design's latest ITX offering. Be on the look out for some of the Munky-DNA in this case. *Note/Full Disclosure: This Case was a review sample sent to us by Fractal Design.
  4. My first water cooling build was a roller coaster of a learning experience to say the least. It seems like every time I'd get a package of parts in the mail I'd realize that I'm missing yet another piece or I'd find some new component that I absolutely had to have. When all was said and done I called my baby GrayGhost. After finishing "him" I began browsing the modding forums and getting the itch to do a case mod. This is my first attempt to mod a case into something that carries my design aesthetic and hopefully keeps a decent build quality although modding with limited tools and space is always a huge obstacle. GrayGhost 1.0 I am a designer by trade so I am planning on building a system that is a bit different and interesting yet manages to remain understated and quiet. Recently the Parvum R1.0 and Corsair 600C have caught my eye because of their inverted motherboard layout. The only problem being money is tight and I told myself I would not buy a new case until after the Broadwell-E processors are released. Until then I dug around I realized I already owned a Define R5 and a Cooler Master Elite 110. I wouldn't have any issues chopping up either of them since they were only collecting dust. Needless to say, due to size restraints, I decided to begin a modding project using the Fractal Design Define R5. Hardware: Case: Fractal Design Define R5 CPU: Intel i7-4770k Mobo: Asus Z97-AR RAM: G.Skill Sniper 16GB 1866 DDR3 (2x8GB) GPU: Asus GTX 970 Strix (x2) SSD: Samsung 950 Pro M.2 512GB SSD: Samsung 850 Pro 256GB SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB HDD: Western Digital Green 3TB PSU: Corsair AX860 CPU Block: EK Supremacy EVO - nickel GPU Block: EK Full-Cover - nickel (x2) GPU Backplate: EK retention backplate - black (x2) Radiators: Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis 280GTS (x2) Fans: Noctua NF-P14s Redux-1200 PWM - 140mm (x6) Reservoir: Barrow quartz glass - 170mm Pump: EK D5 vario Top: EK-XTOP Revo - Plexi Fittings: EK & Barrow - matte black Tubing: Alphacool HardTube 10/12mm Carbon Coolant: Mayhems X1 - custom mixed color Lighting: Darkside Connect UV LED's & NZXT Hue+
  5. Fractal Design Define R5 Project

    My Fractal Design Define R5 case mod. n00b's first complete water cooling build. (Short back story) So I had every intention of spending my weekend putting together a build log showing progress made on my first water cooled and modded computer build. ...BUT... Last night I completed the water cooling loop and the system started up with no problem. I was super nervous water would just start gushing everywhere, but the system didn't have any leaks and booted without any issues What's the first thing you do after water cooling your PC? OVERCLOCK! I figured I'd play it safe, since its only a Z97-AR, and used Asus' automatic overclocking utility in the Ai Suite. The system reboots a couple times, which is expected. On the third reboot my computer did not come back on. I instantly had a bad feeling about this, like it was more than just a little Windows 10 quirk. When I tried to turn on my PC again it posted fine, gave me the DEL or F12 to BIOS option (which did not work), and afterwards I got a message saying "Data in the EC or EC cash may be corrupt". WHAT THE HECK?! I checked all of the usual things. I did the routine CMOS jumper, battery, power supply, change ram, unplug non-essentials, blah, blah blah. Nothing has worked. So I got the pleasure of wasting all of my previous work and taking apart my nearly finished system so I can try to fix the motherboard. Waiting for a reply from Asus as to what I should do. I'm hoping they will have an easy fix or will be able to replace my board. I was/am so upset about the situation that I figured posting something will make me feel like I've actually accomplished something. So here are the exterior shots of my case. The design is rather simple. 3 blow holes with MnPCtech overkill fan grills and the MnPCtech machined side panel. Eventually there will be a digital thermometer display behind the front cover that can be seen through the middle fan grill. Other than that I don't plan on doing much more to the exterior. My aesthetic tends to be rather simple and clean as opposed to the flash computers that will turn heads and I'm OK with that. The rest of the build will come soon. I'm sure it will be right after I get tired of waiting and go to Microcenter for a new motherboard. ------
  6. Project -Cosmic Dust-

    Hello all! :D I have just registered MOD ZOO! The theme for this time is "Cosmic Dust". Yes, change the project title! :lol: I've tried to challenge the new spray painting. It's like a cosmos... B) I'm already getting parts and putting them together. I plan to make a mini-ITX water cooled system. I have wanted to build a mini-ITX water cooled system for quite some time! Special Thanks to the sponsors! Fractal Design MSI nanoxia I wish to express my appreciation!! -System- CASE: Fractal Design CORE500 PSU: Fractal Design Edison M 550W CPU: Core i5-6500(Skylake) MB: MSI Z170I GAMING PRO AC VGA: MSI GTX 970 4GD5T OC V1 RAM: G.Skill DDR4-2400 Dual Channel Ripjaws V Steel Blue 16GB SSD: OCZ Trion 100 SSD 240GB HDD: Seagate ST4000DM000 4TB See you later :D
  7. Hey Mod Munkys! You had better get on this DEAL before it's gone, Fractal Design​ Define S for only $69.99 with FREE SHIPPING!!!! http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352054 Watch our Mod Zoo Staff Review,
  8. Hey guys! A while back I had great talk with the guys from Fractal Design and we agreed to start a mod together! They sent over the Define R2 XL, which for it's low-price is an absolutely fantastic case, even without modding! First of all I'd like to thank the sponsors of this project, before we move on to the modding. Fractal Design, Noiseblocker and Primochill were kind enough to come on board for the build and I can't thank them enough! Without them, this project wouldn't be the same! Fractal supplied the chassis, Noiseblocker sent over an army of E-Loop fans, because why run anything other than the most gorgeous fan in production? :) And Primochill are going to be supplying the watercooling goodies that will keep this beast cool! Here's the final concept for the build (The Primochill D5 CTR Phase II reservoir will be on the back wall) Hardware list: Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme - x79Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-3930K Processor (12M Cache, up to 3.80 GHz)Graphics card(s): KFA2 GTX770 LTD OC "White Edition" Memory: GSkill Ripjaws Z, 32GB @2133MHzPower Supply: EVGA NEX 1500W Supernova (got a great deal, don't judge me, plus planning additional GPUs at some point. :D)SSD: Samsung 250GB 2.5-inch 840 EVO SSDStorage drives: Seagate Barracuda, 2TB @7200PM, 64MB CacheSound card: ASUS ROG Xonar Phoebus SoloCooling will be done via: CPU Block: EK Supremacy, LGA 2011Radiators: EK Coolstream PE-360 (x2)Pumps: 2xD5, still undecided on brand, probably EKFittings: Primochill Revolver Rigid Compression fittingsTubes: Primochill PETG 1/2'' OD Hard-tubingReservoir: Primochill D5 enable CTR "Phase II" (more info later)GPU Block: More info laterHere are some of the glory shots of the products they sent me: Fractal Design Define R2 XL: Noiseblocker E-Loop 120mm fans: Here's my small army of E-Loops! :) The package from Primochill will arrive at a later date, but expect some juicy photos of the goodies as well! :) So, without any further delays, lets move on to the mod of the case! :) The entire chassis is gutted out, and replaced with a fresh, new, 2mm thick Aluminium inner-frame which I whipped up a while-back. Dual 360 radiators (can safely fit push-pull with thicker rads) go in the bottom, HDD's will be mounted in the back in a special sheet-metal bracket. Motherboard is rotated 90 degrees to face the top of the chassis, where I've offset it by 60mm to allow ample room to route the cables behind the custom made I/O cover-slash-PSU mount. The front bezel and feet will be replaced with a sheetmetal version of the first and a new plate that will act as a base for the chassis. Both made from 2mm aluminium. (Still not ordered since money, sadly, doesn't grow on trees...) So, after I finalized my plan, I went and gutted the case. The white material inside is actually a 5mm thick PVC sheet which I had in mind to use before I decided to go all out with aluminium. And here is the actual aluminium frame itself: (more on the cubes in a bit) Sorry for the phone pics but my DSLR wasn't with me when I needed it... I'll retake the photos when I get a chance! :) Now, the cubes are something I got from a buddy of mine, Jim Weist from Clockwerk CaseMods. He is such an inspiration and has been very helpful through the entire process. Big shout out goes to him, so definitely go check out his build! Here are the cubes he shipped to me from the US, he actually sells these and they are rock solid! The frame doesn't budge at all! 3/8'' cubes (9.525mm) tapped at all sides for M3! He'll also be hooking me up with a nice custom reservoir (which you might have spotted at the very top of the chassis, over the CPU) I hope you guys liked the way this is starting off. I'll try to keep the updates coming as fast possible and you guys can expect one by the end of this week the new frame will go inside the chassis! :) Cheers bros!
  9. Welcome to my review of the Fractal Design Node 304 White. Thank you to Fractal Design and The Mod Zoo for the chance to review this case. I'll start by listing the main specs of the case: Type: Mini-ITX, DTX Desktop Case Material: Aluminum / Steel Dimensions: 9.84" x 8.27" x 14.72" (250 x 210 x 374 mm) Cooling: 2x 92mm or 80mm front fans, and 1x 120mm or 140mm rear cooling fan CPU cooling: Towers up to 165mm PSU: Full size ATX up to 140mm in length Now off to the review. Initial thoughts: Opening the box you can tell Fractal Design put thought into every aspect of this case, even the packaging. The box is heavy cardboard and the foam inserts hold the case very snug. If you were to receive a damaged case it would be due to the shipper running it over with a truck. Fit and finish of the case as a whole is very nice, although In have a couple concerns that I will show you in just a minute. The finish on the case is very nice and uniform and construction is very sturdy. The front panel of the Node is very clean and only sports the blue power LED, and a very small and rather discrete Fractal Design logo. It's very minimal and I commend Fractal for this. Off to the right side are 2 USB 3.0 ports as well as the power button. This is the first complaint I had with this case. The entire outside is a very well done white aluminum and steel case, and then you have a plastic power button. My complaint was that it looks slightly out of place having a different texture and a slightly different color that was hard to catch with my camera. It's a minor complaint that will probably not bother most. Moving on to the bottom you have a very easily removed dust filter for the PSU fan. The filter is pretty sturdy and cleans easily. You also have 4 rubber case feet/no slip pads. They leave a small amount of room under the case to allow for adequate air flow to the PSU. Also used as trim around the bottom of the case and at the bottom of the front panel is the same plastic that was used for the power button, while it doesn't bother me in this application because you can't see it I still know it's there. There is also a white LED in the bottom of the front panel (top left of pic) that is used as the HDD activity light. Front panel removal is extremely easy only needing a light pull at the bottom to take it off. It's held in place by 4 pins one in each corner to access the front cooling fan filters and fan screws if you wish to replace them. With the front panel removed you can see the front fan filter. It is removed by pushing the tabs located on both sides toward the center of the filter. And then can be cleaned using air or water. Just make sure it's dry before use. Remove the filter and you have access to the fan screws. As you can see you have the option of 92mm as installed or 80mm as well. Moving to the back of the case you have the power extension plug in. Mounting holes for a rear 140mm factory installed fan or 120mm fan. There are 2 expansion slots for dual slot GPU's. And lastly in the top right corner from the back (or top left from the front) a 3 position fan speed controller. The speeds are low 5v, medium 7v, and high 12v. After removing the top of the case (done by removing the 4 thumb screws on the back and sliding it back and up) You find a little goody bag inside the case with the mother board standoffs, all the screws for the hard drive trays, and SSD mounts, as well as some zip ties to help with the fun task of cable management in such a small case. There is also a little nut driver or something pictured to the right of the plastic bag. While I never found out it's purpose I figured it was to install the standoffs nice and tight, although they did not fit inside of it. So maybe Fractal Design can shed some light on this. With the top off and taking a look inside this is your view. There are 3 hard drive caddy's that will hold up to 6 (2 per caddy) 3.5" or 2.5" hard drives or SSD's. The caddy's are fairly easily removed by removing the 2 thumb screws at the back of the caddy and the single Phillips screw at the front and sliding it slightly back and pulling up. This brings me to my second complaint. I find it a little annoying to need to find a screw driver to remove the drive caddy when everything up to this point has thumb screws. A possible change in the future here could be making a tab that slides under the back edge of the of the case fronts structure. With that said you will still need to have a screw driver to remove drives from the trays. With thr caddy removed you'll notice it has an extremely nice and durable black powder coat finish. Also there are rubber grommets included to keep vibration from those big 3.5" drives down to a minimum. On the back of the case you will find the fan controller tucked up and out of the way. The controller has 3x 3 pin connectors for fans and a single 4 pin molex connector for power. The layout of the case is a little different due to the compact size of the case. The ITX or DTX board goes in the back while the PSU goes in the bottom front for the case under the drive caddy's. Due to this layout there is an extension cable built into the case to get power to the PSU. I have a small gripe about the length of this cable being to long. As you can see even with my plug in being at the front there is still a lot of cable left over to tuck away. They could have taken an inch or two out of it and been fine. But then again they did have to account for an incredibly high amount of hardware options. Continuing with a system build you'll notice that cable management becomes an issue, this is even more apparent in my case due to the lack of a modular PSU. When using a Modular PSU overall length has to be accounted for. With modular PSU's over 140mm in length you may run into interference concerns with the PSU connectors and large GPU's. As you can see in this build due to the use of a very short 650Ti there are no concerns. Also if long GPU's are to be used the drive caddy inline with the GPU's will need to be removed limiting you to 4 Drives. Although not shown in the picture the cables running under the bottom of the GPU are attached to cable tie points that are punched into the case to help cable management. With the CPU cooler installed you can see again not a lot of room. Fractal Design states tower coolers up to 165mm will fit. But as you can see you need to put a bit of thought into that. Because the width will also play a large role in fitment depending on motherboard layout. Also when using AIO coolers you need to pay attention to the radiator size. This in an Antec 620 using a 120mm radiator depending on the design of the end tanks you may run into clearance issues between the end tank and the top of the case. This radiator had that problem, and had to be layed on it's side. But if running a 140mm AIO cooler and running this configuration you may run into clearance concerns between the radiator and the GPU. But that again will depend a little on the mother board layout. Also I would like to see a dust filter on the back of the case. That way if your using an AIO cooler you can get clean filtered cool air from there as well. Using the back fan for an intake would also help to ensure positive case pressure to lower the potential for dust even more. Final thoughts: Overall I would not hesitate to buy this case, or recommend it to a friend looking to down size from a mid tower. Overall finish and quality are good. And although I had some complaints others may not be bothered by the same things. My complaints were not even close to making have second thoughts about the case. Thank you for looking, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them up and I'll answer them as quickly as possible. Thanks again to Fractal Design and The Mod Zoo.
  10. What's Up Y'all!!? My name is Paul - iamApropos part of AMD's Red Team+ formerly known as AMD Advocates. I wanted to share with y'all my latest build project. But first a little about me. I stream live on twitch.tv in order to help show just what AMD products are capable of while gaming as well as I try my hand in making youtube videos from time to time. I'm very active on twitter and facebook and I'm starting to reach out onto forums such as this one. Bare with me as I learn the ropes. I'm a gamer at heart and I'm very passionate about building computers! This will be the first time I've added modifications to a computer build so I'm excited to share it with you! Thanks to AMD for providing the FX 9590 with closed loop Cooler Master 120XL, 16gb 2x8gb 2133mhz, Radeon Gaming memory, Power Color TurboDuo R9 290X. Thanks to Fractal Design for providing the ARC XL case and Newton R3 1000w power supply. Thanks to MNPCTECH - For providing the AMD fan grill, AMD window decals, red zip ties, red thumb screws, red LED strip! My plans for the build - I plan on removing the front and top metal grills and painting them red. I also plan on getting red / black sleeved extensions for the cables. Putting on AMD window decals, AMD fan grill on the current Radiator, using red zip ties for cable management and red thumb screws for the side panels. I'm planning on also painting the drive cages and PCI expansion slot covers Red too. After Fractal Design sent me the ARC XL and Newton R3 I went a head and did a YT overview video of both parts: ARC XL: http://youtu.be/bzGAMteuLy0?list=UUX999d2_gJqRyiFj1AsLnPA Newton R3: http://youtu.be/SqGDE08EZRk?list=UUX999d2_gJqRyiFj1AsLnPA I did a live unboxing of the R9 290x on twitch and it was uploaded to my youtube channel as well. I'm planning on uploading an overview video onto my youtube channel of the build once all the mods are completed, hopefully by next week Tuesday / Wednesday. Updates will be posted frequently. Here are the current parts before adding any modifications: If you have any questions, suggestions or wanna just talk shop please let me know!
  11. HTPC Recycling - Jompenleet

    Hey guys, decided to give u some pics on my last HTPC project wich is built ONLY on parts i had laying around at home. so the components aren't new but still working perfect. Only thing purchased was the case wich is a Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 case. (inverted) I got this case because it was the cheapest decent looking case in the store, also had possibility to invert this case pretty easily and do some minor tweaking for a sleeker look Anyway i will basically let the picture speak for themselves.
  12. To start things off, I have to give a big thanks to the guys at Fractal Design and The ModZoo For sponsoring/hosting the review competition. Also I need to apologize for not posting here in a timely fashion. I miss read the requirements and had it posted on my personal review site only. Now lets get this review started by letting me tell you a little about Fractal Designs and the Define R4. The concept of Fractal Design is to provide products with an extraordinary design level, without compromising the important factors of quality, functionality and pricing. The computer of today has come to play a central role in most people’s home, creating a demand for appealing design of the computer itself and its accessories. Our main product areas are computer enclosures, power supplies, cooling, and Media Center-products, such as Home Theater-enclosures, keyboards and remote controls. The Fractal Design Define R4 is the midi tower in the Define Series of computer cases offering minimalistic and stunning Scandinavian design fused with maximum sound reduction, configurability and functionality. The Define R4 side and front door panels are fitted with dense, sound-absorbing material making it a benchmark for noise reduction. Moreover, the Define R4 accommodates up to 8 HDDs, all modern graphics card sizes, and multiple ventilation options – including two standard Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fans – to keep internal components at optimal temperatures. For ultimate functionality, the Define R4 features a front interface with USB 3.0 and an integrated three-speed fan controller behind the front panel door. Key features High density noise-reducing material for an optimal silent case – To achieve a high level of noise reduction, material with mass should be incorporated which is what we strive to achieve with the dense bitumen used on the side panelsPatent pending ModuVent™ design allowing the user to choose between optimal silence or maximum airflowTop HDD cage (5 trays total) can be rotated 90 degrees or removed for additional airflow or to accommodate long graphic cards up to 430mm in lengthThree-speed fan controller is strategically integrated in the front panel and supports up to 3 fansTwo Silent Series R2 fans included, featuring hydraulic bearings contributing to a longer life expectancy – Silent Series R2 retail fans will now come standard in all casesWider case body that allows for improved cable routing behind the motherboard – now 26mm wideNew tool-less front fan holder makes switching front fans a breezeTwo SSDs can be mounted on the back of the motherboard plate in addition to the 8 slots in the HDD trays, for a total of 10 SSD positions available Specifications ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX motherboard compatibility7 + 1 expansion slots2 – 5.25″ bays8 – 3.5″ HDD trays – all compatible with SSDs, 2 – 2.5″ extra SSD positions3 – ModuVent™ plates – two in the top and one in the side7 – fan positions (2 Silent Series R2 fans included)Filtered fan slots in the front and bottomCPU coolers up to 170mm tall (when no fan is installed in the side panel)ATX PSUs up to 170mm deep when using the bottom fan location, when not using this fan location longer PSUs (up to 270mm deep) can be usedGraphics cards up to 295mm in length with the top HDD cage installedWith the top cage removed, graphics cards up to 430mm in length may be installed26mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plateThick rubber grommets on all holes on the motherboard plateColours available: Black Pearl, Titanium Grey, Arctic WhiteCase dimensions (WxHxD): 232 x 464 x 523mmPackage dimensions (WxHxD): 320 x 535 x 610mmNet weight: 12.3 kg Cooling system Front: 1 – 120/140mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed; 1 – 120/140mm fan (not included)Rear: 1 – 120/140mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)Top: 2 - 120/140mm fans (not included) – positions also support some models of 240 radiators, depending on configurationBottom: 1 - 120/140mm fan (not included)Side: 1 - 120/140mm fan (not included)Fan controller: 1 – Integrated fan controller for up to 3 fans (included) Front interface 2 – USB 3.0, 2 – USB 2.0Audio I/OPower button with LED (blue)Reset buttonFan controller (behind door)Package contents Define R4 computer caseUser manualAccessory box Additional information EAN/GTIN-13: 7350041080916UPC: 817301010917Product code: FD-CA-DEF-R4-BLAvailable for System Integrators Packaging The Define R4 comes in a minimalist style box. Not in a fancy full colored, high gloss box which is a good thing to me. Not only does it save us a little money in the end, but overall it is really not necessary. The same amount of information can be given whether it’s fancy looking or not. The front of the box features the company name, case model, and an outlined image of the case. The left side of the box shows us the case specifications and it’s cooling features. The Back of the box features an exploded image of the case showing all the main parts. It lists these parts by numbers for easy identification. The right side of the box shows another view of the case and shows us the selected specifics of the case model purchased. The case comes in a few variants. Black with or without window, titanium, or white. Unboxing The case comes capped in nice, thick Styrofoam and is wrapped in a plastic bag to help prevent dust and scratches. The first thing we get once the plastic bag is removed is a zip lock bag containing the owner’s manual and a warranty paper. The Case Came in perfect condition, that’s all that counts in the end. I have seen many cases arrive in un-buildable condition. Always my fear when I crack that packaging tape. Exterior Features My first impressions of this case is super sleek. It’s not totally boxy, but features a lot of straight lines. From a modder’s perspective, it’s a great clean slate to customize. The front of the case is smooth and clean. It has a brushed Aluminum look, but seems to be made of plastic. The left side of the case has a 140 mm fan cutout, with a removable sound dampening cover. You also have the option to mount a smaller 120 mm fan here as well. The right side panel is the same but fully solid. The paint on both side panels matches the rest of the case nicely. It seems to be of good quality. I have seen some case manufactures fail at keeping it not only of high quality but a lot of times the color from the panels to the actual chassis differs. The rear of the case has ventilation cutouts along the top. A rear 140 mm fan is included. You also have the option here to mount a 120 mm fan. The case has 7 horizontal expansion slots. It also has a vertical expansion slot for mounting of a fan controller, LED light switch, or many other devices. The case also supports up to full ATX PSU mounting on the bottom. The top of the R4 has Dual fan mounts also with removable sound dampening covers. The top will accept dual 140 mm fans and dual 120 mm fans. The holes are properly spaced to accept a radiator, specifically sized 240 mm. **Sorry for the darker images. New camera still getting used to it.** The top also features the microphone and audio jack, reset and power button, two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports. The bottom also features Dual fan mounts of the same specifications as the top. The only differences are no sound dampening covers. The first 140 mm fan hole cut out will help with PSU ventilation. You will be able to mount a 140 mm, 120 mm fans on the second cut out. You also have the option to mount the same sized radiators here, as long as your PSU is not too long. The dust filter covers both fan holes and it’s removable for easy cleaning. The front door is solid and also has sound dampening material on the inner side. Behind the door are two 5.25″ bay drives and again dual fan mounts. This case is set-up to support cooling, with many possibilities in configurations. My head is getting twisted thinking about all the things I can do. The 5.25″ bay covers are easily removed with a flick of a lever. The front fan cover can be opened by pressing two eject buttons. The front dust filter can be removed from here for easy cleaning. There is room here for two 140 mm fans (one included) or two 120 mm fans. The R4 has a built-in fan controller. To the right of the 5.25″ drive bays you will notice a switch with three settings. 5v, 7v, and 12v. This is a great feature with cooling in mind. Some of us want great cooling but we don’t always like all the noise that can come with it. Interior Features The side panels are easily removed by unscrewing two thumb screws. (two per side panel) The side panels are nice and rigid, and both have sound dampening material attached to the inner sides. If you’re worried about noise, this case has you covered! tucked away in the HDD bay is the accessories box. On the back side of the box they list all its contents by name and quantity. They also give us a picture of what each piece should look like. The case comes with plenty of screws for the installation of your hardware. This is also a big concern with some manufactures. Get deep into a build and run out of HHD screws or motherboard stand-offs is never fun. Props to Fractal for providing more than what is needed! The first thing I noticed on the inside where the white HDD trays. Not only are they an eye catcher, but they are made of metal and not plastic. I like this feature a lot. The front panel connections and motherboard header cables are nicely zip-tied and tucked away in the cases rubber grommets. Single connection for the Dual USB 3.0 Ports. Single Connection for the dual USB 2.0 Ports Single HD audio connection. I like that this doesn’t have the added legacy audio added on. Less I have to cut off. And all the motherboard header connections.includes: power switch, reset switch, and power LED. Also tucked away here are the fan controller wires. The motherboard tray is nicely marked for proper placement of the Motherboard Stand-offs. The top HDD bay is easily removed by unscrewing a couple thumbscrews. The bottom however can only be removed by popping the front panel off and removing two additional screws. Cooling Features This case has a fair amount of cooling options. Front: 1 – 120/140mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed; 1 – 120/140mm fan (not included) Rear: 1 – 120/140mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed) Top: 2 – 120/140mm fans (not included) – positions also support some models of 240 radiators, depending on configuration Bottom: 1 – 120/140mm fan (not included) Side: 1 – 120/140mm fan (not included) Fan controller: 1 – Integrated fan controller for up to 3 fans (included) Both the included front and rear case fan are 140 mm and feature white blades. This matches the cases internal theme nicely. A 240 mm radiator easily fits in the top of the case. With some case modifications you could easily put a 360 mm radiator in this case as well. The Build I grabbed some random components I had lying around just to see how easy this case was to build in. Specifications: Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-ISSD CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K Memory: Corsair Vengence LP 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) GFX Card: Gigabyte GTX 560 TI 1 GB PSU: Corsair AX750 SSD: Mushkin 60 GB HDD 1: Western Digital Black 500 GB HDD 2: Seagate 1 TB The first thing I installed was the PSU. At first the screw holes did not line up. I was a little disappointed. But as seen in the second image, with a little play I was able to get all four screws in place. The I/O shield popped in nicely, but was snug enough so it would not pop out easily, perfection. The motherboard went in very easily. The stand-offs were a breeze with the nicely marked holes. All the holes I used were tapped properly. Another issue I see with some manufactures at times. One or two holes will be super tight or threaded improperly. The connection of the motherboard header cables and front panel cables was fairly easy. The only issue I had, was with the front audio cable. It barely reached the port on the motherboard. Just an inch longer and it would be perfect. I have seen some motherboards where the audio is located closer to the PCI slots, if this was the case here I don’t think it would have reached. The video card installation again went without any issues. And there is optimal room for large cards. A card up to 11 inches would easily fit in the case with HDD bays still installed. installing an SSD into the HDD trays is easy. The holes are all properly spaced. You also have the option to mount SSD on the back side of the motherboard tray. However this needs to be done before the motherboard is installed. I missed out on that step. All the drive sleds being metal I thought they would slide in and out a little tough. But before and after installing a drive they slid out easier than some plastic sleds do. Installing a 3.5″ HDD is also just a simple process. You need to use a slightly different screw for these, as they are silenced by rubber grommets. Does everyone’s work area get this messy? A prime example why I am now in love with metal HDD sleds… Removing the final plastic sled out of the older (Corsair) HDD cage, one of the tabs on the sleds busted! The Dreaded Cable Management With just under an inch of space behind the motherboard tray, you have enough room for tons of cables. I did a really quick job here as I was running out of good light for pictures. But in the end it didn’t turn out too bad. There are plenty of zip ties included and plenty of places to secure them too. The included grommets are also of good quality. They stay in place well and hold the cables nicely. Before I wrapped up this review, I wanted to see how much space was actually left for radiator installation. With a quick test with a 240 mm radiator with a single set of fans. It seems like there would be just enough space. Depending on the exact motherboard configuration, push/pull may also be possible. Final Overview Building in this case was a breeze. Everything went in fairly easily and the case has plenty of extra space for more. The cooling options this case has to offer is great. I like options. If you want a crazy air-cooled build, you can add a ton of fans. If you wanted to slap a few radiators in and get a little wet, have at it. And finally if you wanted to be super silent and go with maybe passive cooling. You can cover most of the fan holes with sound dampening material to make it ninja quiet. The subtle white additions to the internals of the case makes for good variation and very appealing to the eye. Overall this case is near perfect. The almost all metal construction and sleek lines really made this not only a great looking case, but also a great case to build into. The case looks outstanding all together and would be a great addition to anyone’s desk. Fractal’s Define R4 is a prime example of keeping things simple, elegant, and staying true to what us PC builders/modders want in a case.
  13. Node 304 - Water Cool or Air Cool

    Quick question. What do you all recommend, water cool or aftermarket air cooling in a Node 304? I am not doing any heavy overclocking or anything. I might, however throw in a GPU at some point. What would be the best water cooling all in one to purchase? Someone has told me not too long ago to get a H50. Thanks for your help ModZoo!!!
  14. Hello to my Mod Zoo friends!! I would first like to thank everyone for following my last project, Grey Matter! I loved the support and kind words from everyone, it really motivated me throughout the build process. I always couldn't wait to post here to show you guys what I got done, thanks so much! The build is currently entered in the 2013 Cooler Master Contest, wish me luck!! I am trying to keep the ball rolling right into this next build, Black Frost, a Fractal Design Refine R4 case mod! I was originally planning a different mod, but I won this Refine R4 case in a case review giveaway here at the Mod Zoo. I will be posting a review here on the forums under the Fractal Design thread if you are interested in my opinion, the review will be up soon! The case was really nice so I decided not to waste any time and get on it! Thumbs up to Fractal on making a solid case! I am attempting to do something different and make this build a little bit more open concept and the goal is to have everything as neat as possible. Most systems are completely shrouded and the slack from the wires is smashed in a box basically. I want to have everything cut to exact lengths and attempt to minimize all slack. I am going with a black and white color scheme with chrome accents to cut down on full fledged paint job and keep this build clean. Remember to reference this first post for easy links to all the updates on this project! Update 1 : 2/3/2014 : Case Fabrication Update 2 : 2/10/2014 : Interior Panels and Bezel Work PC Components : *TBA - To Be Announced [] CPU : TBA [] MoBo : TBA [] RAM : TBA [] GPU : TBA [] PSU : eVGA 650W SuperNOVA [] SSD : Samsung Evo [] OPT : TBA (possibly none) [x] Case : Fractal Design Refine R4 Water Cooling : [] TBA Key Mods : <> Open concept. <> Chrome copper tubing. <> Solid PSU wires cut to length. <> Hand made acrylic reservoir, possibly another style waterfall. <> More TBA. I am proud and honored to already have picked up a sponsor for this build: Huge thanks to Casefeet.com. They have some super beast mode case feet! I am really happy and excited to have them on board! Checkout the site by clicking the logo! This post will be updated with more information as the build goes on. With all that taken care of, on to the first update! First things first the base of this creation! The Pearl Black Fractal design Refine R4! Here are some photos of the case, taking it to a blank canvas. The blank canvas!:clap: Measured lines to cut the bottom metal out for better air flow for my floor mount radiator Ill be installing. Unpacked these goodies from Casefeet.com! They came thoroughly wrapped and protected! I picked up some 1.5" ID O-rings from McMaster Carr on my way home from work the other day and rolled them onto the case feet into the milled grooved for the black stripe effect. There are other ways to make the effect its up to your imagination! I am still plotting the exact placement for them, I will decide when I cut out the bottom panel. These are the 24" x 36" sheets of acrylic for the build, also from McMaster Carr. ( I love living 20 minutes from there! :D ) I will most likely have to get more but I am starting with two sheets of each color. I started making the cuts to create the floor inside the case. I like working with a flat even floor from the start. It makes for good panel mounting and a nice clean look. I made some 1/2" strips for the floor supports. Then Ill be cementing them to the floor panel after i make my radiator cuts and drill my holes for the panel standoffs. One of my favorite tools here for making precise marks to mount my fence when making router cuts! Every mark its right on the money at all times! Test Fitting of the floor panel resting on its support strips. I had some left over U-channel molding from MNPCtech.com from my last build so I put it to use. I covered it with Rustoleums version of plastic-dip so I could make it white. Then I trimmed out the front area where Ill be making a 240mm radiator mount. Here is a final shot of where I am sitting now, and a shot showing how the PSU will be oriented, and I set in a spare radiator for perspective. The build will actually be using a 240mm rad in that location. Well that is where I left off last night. I would of liked to been further along but I had another little side project and was busy with the holidays. this build may move a little slower at first because I am currently saving money to buy a nice CNC when I get my taxes back. Once I get that, this build will take off and Ill be taking my modding to the next level! I am super stoked for that! Thanks for checking out the build log thus far, stay tuned there is much more to come!!
  15. Greetings all, I'd like to start of by giving a big thank you to Fractal Design and Josh for the case giveaway as well as to Bill Owen for being the excellent zoo keeper he is and facilitating this. Lets get right in to the nitty-gritty then, shall we? The Fractal Design Node 304 is a compact mITX case perfect for a discrete daily system or HTPC. Here are the design specs for the case: Mini ITX, DTX motherboard compatibility2 expansion slots6 drives – supports either 3.5" or 2.5" HDD / SSDATX PSUs, up to 160mm in length (To fit in combination with a long graphics card, PSUs with modular connectors on the back typically need to be shorter than 160 mm)Graphics cards, up to 310mm in length, when 2 HDD slots (1 HDD hanging bracket total) are removed (Graphics cards longer than 170 mm will conflict with PSUs longer than 160mm)Tower CPU coolers, up to 165 mm tall2 - Front mounted 92mm Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fans, 1300 RPM speed (compatible with 80mm fans) – included1 - Rear mounted 140mm Silent Series R2 hydraulic bearing fan, 1000 RPM speed (compatible with 120mm fans) – includedCase dimensions (W x H x D): 250 x 210 x 374 mm or 9.84" x 8.27" x 14.55"Case volume: 19.5 LitersNet weight: 4.9 kgThe Node is available in both black and white. As the contest noted I received a white copy for this review. The Node comes in standard packaging, cardboard box with product specs listed on the outside as well as a nice product exploded view. Inside the Node is secured by styrofoam supports and bagged with the manual and hardware. On the exterior the Fractal's Node embraces a minimalist mentality, bare of feature except for a small Fractal Design logo and a blue power LED. The case is constructed out of steel and has an excellent quality to its paint finish. The front bezel is a curved piece of steel mounted onto a plastic foundation. I find this design excellent because the paint on the bezel matches the rest of the case flawlessly and there isn't a front bezel/case body material difference clash. There is a mesh-covered air intake on the top of the bezel as well as an air intake on the bottom. Included with the case are some hardware bits. You'll find motherboard standoff, a few wire ties, screws for mounting all your drives and a small nut driver for the standoff installation. Moving to the side of the case there is a large black mesh vent for the system's graphics card. At the rear of the case you can see the pre-installed 140mm fan, power hook-up, I/O shield cutout, and PCI-E slots supporting up to dual width cards. As pointed out by other reviewers of the case, I'd like to see a power switch on the plug in. It's a nice insurance policy to have for protecting your system. Also located in the top right corner is the fan controller speed selector. Moving to the right side of the case there is another mesh vent, this one for the power supply. Also located on this side are the power switch, 2 USB 3.0 ports and a microphone and headphone jack. A close up of the front I/O ports, Fractal logo, and power LED (the slot between the logo and power button). The front bezel is held in place by 4 plastic tabs and can be popped off with a controlled but forceful pull. Tool free removal is a big plus in my book and the clips are robust enough that it takes some effort to remove the bezel. Once taken off you can see the two 92mm included fans as well as a dust filter. Unlatching one of the two latches on the dust filter will allow you to remove the filter for cleaning. Removing the 4 thumb screws at the rear of the case and you will be able to take the cover off. When taking off the thumb screws I was disappointed to find that the screws had dug into the paint when tightened at the factory. It'd be nice to see some plastic washers on the thumb screws to prevent this. Once the cover is off the graphics card dust filter is removable as well quick cleaning. With the cover removed the interior is revealed including the 3 HDD mounting brackets, each able to hold two 3.5" drives or two 2.5" drives (including SSDs). The mounts are easy to remove, requiring a #2 phillips screw driver. Simply loosen the two thumb screws towards the rear of the case and remove the front screw and the mounting brackets come right out. It's also good to note that if you want to use a longer graphics card you'll have to remove the bracket that's inline with the PCI-E slots. Located in the rear of the case is a fan controller for the system fans. You've got three 3 pin hook-ups for all the system fans and a molex connector for power. A speed adjustment switch is located on the back of the case for high, medium and low speeds. One of the highlights of the case for me was this thoughtful piece of design work. There is a small tab bent up to keep the AC power cord running along the wall of the case and keeping it out of the way. Built in cable management tools are always nice and this kept the power cord in line. Nice work Fractal engineers. A quick look at the underbelly of the case shows 4 rubber feet to dampen any vibration and a dust filter for the PSU. The filter slides out for cleaning and as Chris pointed out, a little too easily. If I grab the case by the bottom I can often feel the filter shifting around. I did a system mock-up next, emphasis on the mock. I grabbed a burned out a mITX board from work, installed my test power supply and hooked up an H80i. Here is the result and my thoughts on the case with a system in it. Installation of the the hardware was fairly uneventful. The motherboard stand-offs went in a little rough. I used the supplied nut driver and didn't have any issues with it, but I'd like to see higher quality mounting points for the stand-offs. Actual threaded inserts instead of a punch through the case would have been great. The 140mm fan came off easily and the H80i went on without a hitch. You might have to wrestle with the H80i's hoses, I suggest mounting it to the motherboard first then getting the radiator into position on the chassis. The radiator can't be installed with the hoses at the top but I don't see that as a significant dilemma. You might run into issues with a 140mm radiator bumping the graphics card depending on the design. Clearance from the top of the motherboard to the bottom of the radiator was 58mm, no issues if you're using low profile RAM. PSU install was also uneventful. I didn't have to use the screw hole that Chris had trouble with in hid review, but I find it odd that there is a screw cutout for the bottom screw and not one on the side. Also I was able to tame the AC power cord with no issue, but the extra length could be shortened by 1.5" with ease. Moving to the other side of the case it's clear that a modular PSU is what you want when building in this case. This PSU I used is 140mm as well, and you can use all the extra room you can get for wire management, especially if you're using a long graphics card. If you're using a longer PSU and/or a non-modular one you'll have to get creative with wire management. I routed the front fan wires into the chassis to hide them and the fan controller headers fit perfectly into the gap. I think this is a good solution to getting rid of some clutter in the case. It's be easy to find something, even a paper wedge to jam in the gap and keep the wires held in place. In closing, I find Fractal Design's Node 304 to be a well designed case for an mITX system. It's not as large as many other mITX cases that are hitting the market but its strengths are its discreteness and sturdy design. One thing that stood with me throughout the case review was the robustness of the case, even when it was stripped down. It never gave a wobble which I've experienced with other cases when you're stripping them down. In terms of modding the Node 304 is ripe for a transformation. The case's lack of imposing features leave a modder free to do what he wants as long as he can accommodate the tight quarters internally. Props: -Sturdy design -Long graphics card accomidation -Quality paint and finish -PSU cord management Slops: -No thumb screw washers -Bottom air filter's looseness I give the Fractal Design Node 304 five big ol' nanners.
  16. Product Review Fractal Design Define R4 Pearl Black Computer Case First I would like to thanks Fractal Design and The Mod Zoo for making this case give away possible! I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to win this case and leave my opinions on it! It is also the victim of my next case mod I will post a link to the project log at the end. First off, I went to the Fractal Design website and did a little research on the technical specifications of the case, the cooling properties, and the key features. I am going to paraphrase some of that information here, show you the photos I took, and then give you my opinions. *Key featuresThe high density noise reduction material for a more silent case. This material is on the top of the case screwed into the radiator/fan mounting area, on the front door, and on both side panelsTheir patent pending ModuVent Design, which allows to pick between high air flow or silence.The top HDD case which hold 5 drives can be rotated 90°, and removed for more air flow.There is a 3-speed fan control switch behind the front door which changes the voltages to the fans which adjusts their speed, it supports up to 3 fans.There are two 140mm silent Series R2 fans included in the case, they have hydraulic bearings for a longer life.Wider case body, I measure the rear panel, to create my own, and it came to 9 inches wide, and it allows 26mm behind the stock motherboard tray, which is plenty of room to run your PSU wires neatly.Tool-less front fan holder making switching fans easy.Two SSD drives can be mounted on the rear of the motherboard tray in addition to the 8 other HDD trays for a total of 10 SSDs. That is a lot of storage! * Specifications ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX motherboard compatibility7 + 1 expansion slots2 - 5.25" bays8 - 3.5" HDD trays - all compatible with SSDs, 2 - 2.5" extra SSD positions3 - ModuVent™ plates - two in the top and one in the side7 - fan positions (2 Silent Series R2 fans included)Filtered fan slots in the front and bottomCPU coolers up to 170mm tall (when no fan is installed in the side panel)ATX PSUs up to 170mm deep when using the bottom fan location, when not using this fan location longer PSUs (up to 270mm deep) can be usedGraphics cards up to 295mm in length with the top HDD cage installedWith the top cage removed, graphics cards up to 430mm in length may be installed26mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plateThick rubber grommets on all holes on the motherboard plateColors available: Black Pearl, Titanium Grey, Arctic WhiteCase dimensions (WxHxD): 232 x 464 x 523mmPackage dimensions (WxHxD): 320 x 535 x 610mmNet weight: 12.3 kg * Cooling Front: 1 - 120/140mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed; 1 - 120/140mm fan (not included)Rear: 1 - 120/140mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)Top: 2 - 120/140mm fans (not included) - positions also support some models of 240 radiators, depending on configurationBottom: 1 - 120/140mm fan (not included)Side: 1 - 120/140mm fan (not included)Fan controller: 1 - Integrated fan controller for up to 3 fans (included) * Front interface 2 - USB 3.0, 2 - USB 2.Audio I/OPower button with LED (blue)Reset buttonFan controller (behind door)* Package contents Define R4 computer case User manual Accessory box The first think I noticed removing the case from the box was That the packaging was really secure, Fedex made sure to beat the box up and there was no damage to the case. Plastic covers and pressed in foam so that the case couldn't be damaged. The case is real simple, sleek and clean in all aspects. The front door is a nice high gloss black and the rest is a matte black. Here behind the front door you have the removable covers for the 5 1/4" drive bays and the front tool-less fan mount. The covers remove very easily and the fan mount removes easily as well, and it is equip with a slide in dust filter. You will also notice the silencing material on the rear of the door, and the fan control switch to the right of the drive bays. Here you have a pretty standard front panel. I like that there is two USB 3.0 inputs, there is also two USB 2.0 inputs, the power on/off switch in the middle of an LED, the reset switch, and your headphone and microphone jacks. A view from the bottom of the case you will see a slide in dust filter for the power supply and for another floor mounted fan. There really is quite a bit of possible air flow on this case. Here is a side view with and without all the drive bays. The middle bay is removed with a couple thumb screws, and the bottom bay comes out by removing 4 Philips screws from the bottom and 2 from a side support that extends to the front of the case. The back view, allows fora standard 140mm or 120mm fan mounting and has a vertical pci I/O slot for extending solid states and sound cards when using all pci-e slots for graphics cards. An inside shot at the front tool-less fan mounting system. This is a really simple way for removing, changing, and installing new fans. View of behind the motherboard tray. There is more than enough room to run all your cables and mount 2 solid state drives. Here is the top angle showing the top fan mounting area. It coming with two 140mm silencing pads attached that completely cover the whole perforated area, I removed them for the photo so you can see through. You can easily mount fans or a radiator here. Lastly I have a picture of the parts box pulled out to show everything ti comes with. more thumb screws, motherboard standoffs, zip ties and tie mounts, some silencing washers, and other hardware. Final Thoughts Over all I think the case is really solid. It appeases to the water cooler, air cooler, and the silent PC user. There is a plethora of configurations available in this mid-sized tower. It leaves the ability to run clean wires for better air flow, along with fan speed controlling. There is enough room to install a custom water cooling system with multiple radiators. As a modder I am only looking for basic stability in the case as a shell, and this definitely has that, it is very sturdy. Its hard to find anything about this case to gripe about. All around its a very clean simple solid case, It was nice enough for me to change my modding schedule I had planned and move ahead to mod this! I will tell ya now if and when you see my final photos you probably wont recognize it! =D I give the case the 5 banana Mod Zoo Monkey rating! If you would like I ask you to please check out my work log for this case project titled "Black Frost". Just click the link there and stop by and leave some comments and tell me what you think! Thanks again to Fractal Design and the Mod Zoo for the opportunity to do this! You guys are both awesome!!
  17. Table of Contents (Note: I'll be using the original post dates to allow you to get a better impression of the build's progress.) 01. - 2013-APR-30: Why Dremel When You Can Drill? 02. - 2013-MAY-01: Progress On Back Panel - First Fitting 03. - 2013-MAY-06: The PSU Mount 04. - 2013-MAY-20: Modding/Sleeving the PSU & The HDD Tower 05. - 2013-MAY-21: PSU Sleeving - Continued 06. - 2013-MAY-22: Making a Custom Fan Controller 07. - 2013-MAY-29: Fan Controller & PSU Finished 08. - 2013-MAY-29: Back Panel - Progress 09. - 2013-MAY-30: Reservoir Modding 10. - 2013-JUN-23: Complete (For Now) 11. - 2013-OCT-20: Small Addendum On the Aquainlet Reservoir Prologue Hello everyone! suggested I join this place and post some of my work, and he tends to give some good advice in my experience, so I thought I better follow it (we share a crippling addiction to copper). I have also been following MNPCTech on Youtube for quite a while. And what better way to introduce myself than a build log.... :D This is a build I did in spring 2013. Its eventual purpose will be to serve as our HTPC, a file and media server and it will do some computing for BOINC. Until my other build is up and running, it is currently serving as my personal rig though. Some of you may be familiar with it. The basic concept: Replace the back panel of the R4 with a custom one in order to fit a 360 radiator back there (couldn't do it in the front: HDDs). Also, the PSU has been relocated to the front. The End Result I hope this image size works for you guys, otherwise please let me know and I can switch to a different resolution. (click image for full res) The Name Zwieback Exceeding Useful Specifications. Because: Why not? Zwieback is a hilarious word IMO, and in English doubly so (I don't know why I think that, I just do.) I have been naming my rigs after Greek deities ever since I played the original Deus Ex (still love that game). I also might have a slight weakness for Greek mythology in general... Main PC Guts M/B: MSI Z77A-GD65CPU: Intel i7 2600kRAM: TBDGPU: OnboardSSD: Intel 335 60 GBHDD's: 4 x WD RE4 2 TBHDD's: 3 x WD Red 3 TBPSU: BeQuiet 550 WCase: Fractal Design R4 w/ window side panelW/C PartsCPU Block: EK Supreme HF Acetal/CopperPump: Aquacomputer Aquastream StandardRes: Aquacomputer Aquainlet blue anodizedRad Fans: 3 x SP120 quietRadiator: Alphacool NexXxos UT60 360 mmAlright then, let's get to it! :)
  18. Definition: Server - Mod

    Definition: Server After going to the Midwest Modders Meetup a few weeks ago, I got bitten by the modding bug again. I finally decided to get around to moving my fileserver duties away from my dual socket 604 Xeon motherboard, and onto something a little less power hungry. I wanted to get it as small as I could, but still accommodating the pair of 4-bay hotswap cages I have had for several months (was slowly buying parts to redo the server). Seeing as how my woodworking skills are probably better than my case modding skills, I was thinking about doing another wood build for the server. But then I decided that having a wood server would get heavy in a hurry. I also knew that I wouldn't be able to build it any smaller than a mATX case I could buy. So, I started hunting for suitable cases. I thought about going with a standard ATX mid tower, with 6+ 5.25" bays I could just mount the drives in, but I wanted to go with a mATX board at largest for this, so there would have been too much wasted space in that. Then I started looking at the mATX towers. Ended up settling on either the Fractal Design Define Mini, or the Arc Mini. They're the same layout, just different panels and front bezel. I ended up deciding on the Define Mini. I like the front door, and how it will hide the hotswap bays, and the activity lights associated with it. When MicroCenter had a sale on all cases, I went down there and picked one up, and got to work. I wasn't very good with taking pictures of the case before, I was too excited to tear it apart and get to work. I will be putting the hotswap bays in the front where the 120mm fans were, and where the doors that covered them used to be. In order to pull this off, I had to widen the openings by about 1/16" or so (it was too tight at the top and bottom). Again, not so good with the pictures, but I assure you, it was just a bunch of filing plastic. Eventually the two bays would fit in the opening. Then I turned my attention to the side panel. I wanted to put a window in it because 1.) I hadn't done a window mod yet, and 2.) Why not? Started the slow process of removing the Fractal Design sound deadening foam, stuff. It wasn't quick, but it did work. All in all, it wasn't too bad. I mean, wasn't easy, but not too bad. I used my pocket knife to slowly separate the foam from the side panel, while pulling the foam away. A word of advise for anyone attempting to do this in the future. Don't try to fold the foam back over itself while pulling it off. It'll just break the foam (it's dense) and then peel off the fabric backing. Instead, pull up and away. This sounds counter intuitive, but it helps lift the foam off the panel while not breaking the foam. Using the knife helps release the adhesive. In the last picture, you can see I left a few scratches at first, until I got the hang of it. The long scuffs show where I was running the knife along the edge where the foam was still stuck to the panel. After that, it was time to do something about the front of the case. These 120mm fan openings aren't large enough for a 5.25" device. So I marked it out as best I could, from the front bezel I already widened. I also laid out where I wanted to make the window on the side panel. At this point, it was time to make some cuts. Only issue I had, however, is that I live in an apartment, with no garage of my own. And my dremel and jigsaw are at my parents' house (not that far away, but still an issue). So I would have to wait until I got a chance to get there. Enter Bill, at MNPCTech. I was asking some "how best to" questions regarding the bulge from the fan mount in the panel, when he invited me down to help me out. So I took the opportunity during a break in the snow storm to head down there and get this stuff done. He gave me some pointers, and helped me cut the window out of the panel. The radii I had laid out pushed the limits of the jigsaw blades abilities, but Bill made it happen. Note to self: gold dollar coins aren't a large enough radius for a jig saw. While Bill was helping file the edges of the window, I set about cutting the front of the case. Another note to self, make sure to start with the dremel cut on the end that allows me to cut on the right hand side of my line. I didn't, and as a result couldn't see the line next to the blade while I was cutting. It's ok, though, as it worked out alright, and was still pretty straight. It also didn't matter too much, since it wouldn't be seen anyway. Filed it down, and test fit the hot swap bays. All was good. Then we installed the window with some U-Channel, and 4010 tape. I was too focused on what we were doing, and "in the moment" that I didn't take any pictures of the process. But here are the pictures after getting the case home Test fitting the hotswap bays: I must say, they do look pretty good up front, too. The reason for the size and location of the window, is because I didn't feel the need to have the window show the sides of the hot swap bays (pretty boring, really), and no real point in showing the side of the power supply, or the cables coming off of it either. So this window will do what I want nicely. And I will even be using the fan acoustic covers that came in the 2 fan holes from Fractal Design. I'm going to use them to support the hot swap bays. Being foam, it should help reduce vibrations to the bottom of the case, and also brings the back of the bays up to the same height as the front of the case. They're not attached to the case yet, just sitting there at the moment. I understand I typed quite a bit, so if you made it this far, thanks for checking it out. Hope to have another update, with more progress, soon. Thanks again, Bill, for giving me some pointers and helping me out.
  19. Hey everyone. First off I have no experience with doing case modeling/renderings or any of that. And unfortunately I don't have time right now to sit down and learn. One of these days I will get to it though. Now to the reason for the post. If someone that can do renderings has some time I'd really appreciate some help if possible. I'd like to do a rendering of a Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 with a full mesh front panel that matches the top panel. And if possible one in White with green mesh, and another green with white mesh. The green I'm going for would be as close to Mayhem's X1 UV Emerald Green. If no one has the time to mess with it I understand, I'll just have to come back to the idea at a later date. But if someone can mess with it please let me know, I'd be really grateful.